13 Wishes For Singapore Politics In 2013

1. That the PM calls a by-election in Punggol East.

2. That the PAP loses Punggol East.

3. That CSJ doesn’t do anything stupid to get himself barred from elections. Again.

4. That RP is dissolved. The son is really a disgrace to the father.

5. That more tired old warhorses, loonies and axe-grinders follow the lead of Goh Meng Seng and Sin Kek Tong in leaving politics.

6. That WP improves its performance in Parliament. While we know WP works hard for its residents, doing well against the PAP publicly is important to attract more electable candidates to stand against the PAP.

7. That so-called ‘opposition’ parties come to the fundamental realization that their mission in life is not just to ‘speak up’ for the people so that the PAP will listen and change. Their mission is to kick out the PAP and to BE the next Govt, or die trying.

8. That Singaporeans stop thinking in terms of PAP and Opposition. PAP are not rulers by birthright, and other parties are not forever condemned to be in opposition. Singaporeans should realize that all political parties are created equal, just like all men are created equal. All parties have an equal right to aspire to form the next Govt of Singapore.

9. That Singaporeans understand that the job of Opposition is not to ‘oppose’, and ‘opposition’ does not mean always opposing for the sake of opposing, as PAP wants Singaporeans to believe.

This is an unfortunate quirk of the English language. The term only makes sense when used in a debate, where the side that pushes a motion is the ‘Proposition’ and the other is ‘Opposition’.

In politics, ‘Opposition’ simply describes parties not in power. The job of any party, whether in power or in opposition, is to advance its platform, which is what its voters voted for when they sent them into Parliament.

For example, a party that campaigns on a platform of minimum wage is supposed to fight for minimum wage, regardless of whether they are in power or in opposition. Ditto, if PAP lost, they would still be fighting for the things that are dear to them and their supporters, such as high ministerial salaries and ‘foreign talent’.

That’s not opposing for the sake of opposing. It’s standing up for what your party believes in, and what your voters want.

10. That Singaporeans realise that asking for a ‘credible’ opposition is an oxymoron. Would really really good people be content with just staying on the back bench, playing second fiddle to the PAP for their whole life? On the other hand, how can politicians who have no ambition to form the next Govt be credible? That’s like a tiger that doesn’t want to eat meat!

11. That politicians understand donations and realize that one cannot hope to win elections on a shoestring budget. Frankly, if you’re not prepared to spend at least $50,000 on your campaign, you shouldn’t even bother running.

12. That the ‘opp’ parties develop a real playbook for 2015/16. If they’re still singing the same old tune as 2011 (ie minister salaries, cost of living, overpriced HDB flats, crowded public transport, etc.) they are going to be in trouble. Because the PAP will have fixed, or made great strides in fixing these problems, by 2016. If it’s something that money can solve, you can bet the PAP will not hesitate to spend whatever it takes to win back voters.

If ‘opp’ parties aren’t interested in fighting for power by 2016, I’m afraid they will never be able to surpass the six elected MP seats they now have.

13. That politicians learn, really learn, to improve their public speaking, and learn how to use the media to their advantage. They have to realise that the majority of voters will only know them by their sound bites, and if they don’t know how to use the media to their advantage, they will never get elected.

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About politicalwritings

Someone who sees beyond PAP and "opposition" in Singapore politics. To understand more please see the Top 10 link below.
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13 Responses to 13 Wishes For Singapore Politics In 2013

  1. fedora says:

    hear hear!

  2. Concerned citizen says:

    In light of point 9 above, the ruling party is actually suppressing most of the people such as runaway foreign workers quotas, ranaway HDB prices, runaway medical fees, ranaway responsibilities, runaway accountabilities, etc,etc should be called the opposition in this sense,

    Whereas the other parties are proposing policies such as minimum wages for the lower 20% of the people should be called the propositions.

    • Copycat Chen says:

      FYI, when Tharman announced that they are trying to tighten foreign intake, he got screwed by LTK. U are probably supporting the wrong party if U voted WP

  3. ddd says:

    I think the Point 3 is not a fair statement. CSJ need not do anything. As he is deemed a major threats, his adversaries will find ways and means to get rid of him. Why do you think CST or LTK was never targetted? Look at JBJ for example, he was sued for libel (and thus disqualified from elections) just for saying that Tang Liang Hong filed a police report at a election rally.

    • Times have changed. Mr Lee Senior took things personally, and he loved to use sledgehammers. Lee Junior is not like that. Notwithstanding this, you realize that PAP leaders do not hesitate to threaten to sue when their reputations are threatened? Witness Ng Eng Hen, Shanmugam, etc. So it’s not just Dr Chee they go against. And frankly, the latter knowingly and willingly broke the law in many cases, just to highlight the unjust laws. Be that as it may, but he has to suffer the consequences.

  4. have to agree with you on most pts especially nos 8 and 9. The word opposition is an abomimation clevelrly coined likely by the Old Man to stamp out all challengers. He is very good at coining phrases to pigeonhole and manipulate people’s minds. We should indeed all stop using this Opposition term and replace it with more a appropriate word such as “Alternative” parties?

    • That’s even worse. Heard of ‘alternative’ lifestyles, meaning gay lifestyles, etc? They are all political parties, so just call them that. Don’t call one guy ruling party, others as opposition parties or alternative parties. Bad connotation.

      • hmm fair point. what suggestions would you make to replace the word Opposition?

      • In many countries, we just refer to parties by their names, eg. Labour Party, Conservative Party, Liberal Democratic Party, Republican Party, etc. We don’t call them ‘ruling’ party or ‘opposition’ party, because we know that they can go in and out of power at the next election.

        Just call all parties ‘political parties’, which is what they are registered as. When you go to register a political party, you register as a political party, not as an opposition party.

        So call WP, SDP, etc as ‘political parties’ and leave it at that.

      • lets get the ball rolling then against using the word “opposition party” . someone has to start and I fully support this. time to change wrong mindsets.

      • Concerned citizen says:

        How about just Sinkies(Singaporean for Singaporean) and Pinkies(PAP)?

      • Sure. Could you help me publicise writings such as this?

  5. singaporememoryproject says:

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